For the second year running the Grand Prix of Japan was postponed due to a natural disaster, meaning that the third round of the season will be the Grand Prix of Portugal this weekend. From being the penultimate fixture on the calendar last year the Estoril circuit will now play host to the MotoGP World Championship in late spring so the teams and riders will be hoping for better weather, with last year’s qualifying cancelled due to a heavy downpour. With Stefan Bradl winning the first race of the season and Andrea Iannone the second the majority of the fans at the circuit will no doubt be hoping for a Spanish winner, with Julián Simón and Marc Márquez looking their best bet despite a tricky start to the campaign.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Simón has used the break to evaluate a start to the season that has promised much but is yet to deliver podiums. A test at Valencia last week has helped give him a head start on his set-up for this weekend and Julián is looking forward to getting to a circuit that has suited him well in the past. On the other side of the MAPFRE Aspar garage Xavi Forés will look to get to grips quickly with a circuit where he has only spent two days, at a rain-hit winter test. However, he likes the Estoril layout and after also enjoying a positive test at Valencia he is looking forward to a good weekend.
“Estoril is a circuit that has always suited me well and I have always been fast there. Last year I wasn’t able to finish with a good result because of the disastrous weather. Hopefully this year we are not affacted by the weather as much as we have been in the past. I am really motivated to be riding at a circuit I love, especially after a productive test at Valencia. The Grand Prix of Portugal takes place very close to Spain so there will be lots of fans and friends there to support us and I am sure we’ll have a fabulous weekend. The objective is to score a first podium of the season and if possible fight for the win. We’ll be working hard from day one to make sure that’s the case.”
“The test at Valencia last week was really good for us because we were able to draw some positive conclusions. The first two races haven’t gone to plan but I am sure the work we did last week will help us improve and take a step foreward. We are not too far from the front guys but the lap times are so close in Moto2 that a second is a lifetime. So I am looking forard to getting to Estoril, a track I don’t know well although I had two days there to at least learn the layout. It will be like another Spanish race because of the amount of fans coming over so that’s an extra motivation.”
Source: Aspar Media
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